Ben Higgins’s season of The Bachelor airs tonight as part of ABC’s The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever! At the end of his season, Higgins gave his final rose to Lauren Bushnell and the couple got engaged.
Unfortunately, their relationship didn’t last and the two broke up in 2017 after a year and a half together. They announced their split to People, telling the publication in a statement, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways. We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time.”
Before Their Split, Ben’s Other ‘Bachelor’ Relationships & the Couple’s Reality Show Were Stressors on the Relationship
Not only did Higgins and Bushnell’s relationship begin very publicly on The Bachelor, but it continued in the public eye when they filmed the reality television show Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? The show’s one season chronicled their lives together as a newly engaged couple.
In January 2017, Higgins told Entertainment Tonight, “I’m glad that we could share some of our biggest difficulties with Bachelor Nation, but at the same time, it’s not always healthy. Some of those things are meant to be private. Some of those things are meant to be just between a couple, kind of working through it together. Some of that stuff as we watched it back, after we had already kind of gotten through it, it was hard! … It kind of brought back up emotions. So, now that the show is done, we’re functioning as a very normal couple.”
Another issue for the couple was Ben’s relationships with the other Bachelor contestants, especially Jojo Fletcher. After the season finale, which showed Ben telling both Bushnell and Jojo that he loved them, Bushnell admitted that seeing his feelings for Jojo and struggle deciding which contestant to pick put strain on their new relationship. She told ET, “I think the toughest moment in this whole thing was having to relive The Bachelor. Going through that once is one thing, but having to re-watch it once it airs is a whole other thing. I’m only so strong … watching the man you love tell another woman he loves her … is extremely difficult. But honestly, it’s made us way stronger and it’s forced us to communicate and have really awkward, hard conversations.”
In an interview with Reality Steve, Bushnell reflected on why their relationship didn’t last. She said, “I honestly don’t think there was one main reason. I don’t necessarily think at the end of the day we were the most compatible… It wasn’t this bad blood situation or blow-up fight — it’s nothing I can really pinpoint. It just came down to compatibility.”
Ben & Lauren’s Split Appeared to Be Amicable, & They Are Both in Committed Relationships Today
While their relationship with one another didn’t make it, both Higgins and Bushnell are happily committed to their respective partners. Lauren is married to singer Chris Lane, and Higgins recently got engaged to Jessica Clarke.
After Bushnell and Lane announced their engagement, Higgins took to his podcast to congratulate them and reflect on the amicable way in which his time with Bushnell came to an end. Opening up, he said “There are two ways to leave relationships: you leave them angry and resentful, or you leave them knowing it was for the best and the world and life will offer you great things afterward. That’s how Lauren and I left the relationship.” He continued, adding, “Ultimately, we left that relationship — both of us — I think, saying, ‘I hope life brings you a ton of joy; I don’t want you upset and alone forever. I hope you find a partner as soon as possible. I hope everything that you want in this world that is healthy and good is given to you.’ And that’s exactly how I feel.”